The Liberty lost its third straight game, this time to the Seattle Storm, Sunday in the Emerald City. In a streaky season that has seen losing streaks of three and four games and a four-game winning streak as well, Sunday’s loss put New York’s record at 7-10.
The two previous games in the streak, this one had the look of a blowout early. The Storm, winning their second straight, scored the first six points and never trailed. They had 14 straight points in the second quarter to expand a 27-21 lead to 41-21. New York cut it to 43-30 by halftime, closing the half with a 9-2 scoring surge.
Then Seattle put 16 straight points on the board during the third quarter to take a 27-point lead at 64-37. The Liberty closed the gap late but were never in a position to win it. Final Score: 78-69.
The current streak is particularly frustrating because it has followed the four-game winning streak. For most of that winning streak, the Liberty were without two starters and a newly signed French player, all of whom were playing for their national teams in the FIBA Europe Women’s Cup.
The game had a bit of controversy when the Storm decided to start Natasha Howard after her wife claimed Howard had physically abused her. On Saturday, Howard’s wife posted a minute-long, expletive-filled video on Twitter from March in which she yelled at Howard about being threatened by the Storm forward. She also posted screen shots of conversations with Howard’s agent and the team’s general manager.
‘’We are in continued communication with the league and their investigation is now in progress,’’ the team said before the game in a statement confirming Howard would play.
There was no noticeable backlash from the 6,733 fans. She was the first of the five starters introduced, receiving the same loud round of applause as the other four starters. She scored 10 of her points during the first 6 1/2 minutes, and was cheered on all four baskets.
Howard finished with 14 points.